Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Tetzaveh

Anywhere Else?

By Rabbi Label Lam

And these are the garments you shall make: A Breastplate, an Ephod, a Robe, a Tunic of a box-like knit, a Turban, and a Sash. They shall make these garments of sanctity for Aaron your brother and his sons to minister to Me. (Shemos 28:3-4)

…And you shall make for them Headdresses of splendor and glory. (Shemos 28:40)

And you shall make a Head-plate of pure gold and engrave upon it, engraved like a signet ring, “Holy to HASHEM!” (Shemos 28:36)

These are the eight glorious garments to be worn by the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest when performing the service in the Holy Temple. There is one area of “clothing” that is conspicuously absent from the Kohen Gadol’s wardrobe. Can you guess? You got it! Shoes! Why? Amongst all the elaborate and decorative outerwear that adorns the Kohen Gadol, why do his feet remain bare?

Let us hearken back to a slightly earlier time when Moshe was shepherding the sheep of his father in-law, wandering in the desert, and he turned to take note of the phenomenon of the burning bush. At that moment HASHEM spoke to Moshe and demanded of him, “Take off your shoes from upon your feet because the ground that you are standing upon is holy!” Why was he told to remove his shoes? The Ramban answers, “because in places of holiness such as the Temple, even Kohanim may not wear shoes!” That begs the question, “Why are Kohanim, as Moshe at that moment, not to wear shoes?

In the Yalkut Shemoni there’s a dispute about the original stature of Adam the First Man before he was diminished. One opinion says that at one time he reached from the earth to the heavens. Another opinion states that he stretched from one end of the world to the other end of the world, so that when he would lie down his head was in the east and his feet were in the west.

What is meaning of the discussion? I once heard from a great person an approach to this argument between the sages. It’s a debate about the nature of mankind. People are curious and they love to travel to new and exotic places. This is consistent with notion that the Talmud Sanhedrin states, that the dust that was used to form Adam was gathered from all over the world. Man has a connection to allover the planet. Therefore there exists in the hearts of men this insatiable appetite for adventure- to move horizontally about the world, even mentally, imaginatively wondering about events in distant lands. This is a basic description of one dimension of human nature.

Then there is another type of man. He has no desire to budge from his place. Maybe he wandered enough and came to understand, as the phrase says these days, “been there- done that”. Such a person discovers the real limitless adventure in life is not horizontal like the snake moves but vertical like Yaakov’s ladder planted here on earth while ever striving for the heavens. That is a different type of person altogether.

When Moshe discovered that “burning bush” his horizontal journeying ceased and he became anchored to that place. When one removes their shoes it expresses a commitment to remain here. This is where it is happening! This is hallowed ground! Perhaps the same can be said for the Kohen. Shoes are for travelers in sideways direction. A golden plate that declares, “Holy to HASHEM” is for one whose head is reaching for the heavens.

I heard directly from the mouth of Rabbi Shimshon Pincus ztl that once while on a flight from America to Israel the plane made a stopover for a brief period in London. When the connecting flight was ready to continue, he was deeply involved in Davening Mincha. In spite of all the announcements, “now boarding…” , “last call for flight #...” he continued to remain steadfast and focused on his prayers. As a result, he missed the flight. This created a load of logistical problems for him to get another flight and then catch up with his luggage. When asked why he allowed that to happen, he replied, “I was talking to HASHEM! Why would I want to be anywhere else?


DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Seeking Yitzchak
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

How Extrordinary The Result
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

That's Chanukah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

> Every Nana Second
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

The 'Luz' Bone
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Darkness and Light
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

I Did Not Know
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Holy Eyes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Eisav Had It Easy. Yaakov Travels a Different Path
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Brothers in Arms
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Getting What You Pay For
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5767

A Time to Be Silent
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

ArtScroll

See What Will Be
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Just Five More Minutes of Sleep!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Leah's Eyes
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Body and Soul
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information